Dana-Farber’s Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science Appoints New Head of Research

Industry Veteran Joins Expanding Team to Lead Translational Research Efforts

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today announced that it has appointed Jessie M. English, Ph.D., as Head of Research.

Dr. English brings extensive industry drug discovery experience to the position. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Kinase Biology at ArQule, where she was responsible for target identification through product candidate selection and development support. Prior to ArQule, Dr. English was the oncology site lead for external discovery at Merck Research Laboratories, where she was responsible for driving drug discovery programs through external scientific collaborations with industrial and academic partners, including the Belfer Institute. Earlier in her career, Dr. English held leadership positions at the Pfizer Research Technology Center and Schering-Plough Research Institute.

“We are extremely pleased to have a scientist and industry executive of Jessie’s caliber join the Belfer team,” said Pasi Jänne, M.D., Ph.D., who, together with Kwok-Kin Wong, M.D., Ph.D., is Scientific Director of the Belfer Center. “The Belfer Institute continues to collaborate closely with our pharmaceutical industry partners, Merck and Sanofi-Aventis, and to explore additional strategic partnerships that will enable us to use our unique model to integrate scientific teams, offer unparalleled access to cancer models and leverage a broad range of leading edge research capabilities – all with the goal of discovering and developing new patient treatments. Jessie will be an integral part of this research and collaboration process and we are looking forward to working with her.”

Dr. English joins a growing Belfer Institute leadership team, which also recently added Drs. Wong and Jänne, two world-renowned oncology researchers, as Scientific Directors. Dr. Jänne is a preeminent translational oncologist whose work has fundamentally changed the way lung cancer is treated. Dr. Wong is an internationally recognized leader in the development of mouse models of cancer and has contributed tremendously to our understanding of the origins of cancer and the molecular determinants of treatment responses.

“This is an exciting time to join the Belfer Institute and I am looking forward to working closely with our team of world-renowned researchers and industry partners to advance our innovative drug discovery programs,” said Dr. English. “More now than ever before, a collaborative approach is needed to identify the most promising early-stage biology, targets and clinical path for new oncology therapies. The Belfer Institute’s cutting-edge capabilities and its place in a network of excellence at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School uniquely position our team to drive breakthroughs in cancer treatment and for cancer patients.”

Dr. English earned her B.S. with honors in biochemistry from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a postdoctoral fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, where she discovered a novel mammalian MAPK pathway through the discovery and characterization of MEK5. She also discovered the WNK gene family that was subsequently determined to be responsible for a hereditary form of hypertension. Dr. English is a member of the Women in Cancer Research Leadership Council of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dana-Farber’s Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science team consists of 45 world-renowned scientists and oncology researchers. Working collaboratively together, across scientific disciplines, and closely with corporate partners, this team of distinguished faculty is driving the discovery of new cancer targets, defining the biological context of those targets and working to co-develop the next generation of novel cancer therapies.

About the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science

The Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a fully integrated, collaborative cancer research center offering innovative drug discovery capabilities that range from the identification of cancer-causing genetic mutations to the full validation and selection of new drug targets. This unique approach enables the Institute to focus on the most promising early-stage biology to define the best targets and the optimal clinical path for targeted cancer therapies. Collaborating closely with strategic partners in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, the Institute’s proven team of leading scientists are translating key research findings into a revolutionary next generation of cancer therapies. The Belfer Institute was originally founded in 1999 and is part of Dana-Farber and affiliated with Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit http://belferinstitute.dfci.harvard.edu/.


Pure Communications
Keri Mattox, 215-791-0105

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Massachusetts

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Clinical Trials  Oncology  Other Health  General Health  Managed Care